For the no-knead focaccia

For the marinated mozzarella pearls

For the fried artichoke hearts

To serve

  • olives and heirloom plum or cherry tomatoes
  • cured meats (such as mortadella, salami and prosciutto)
  • cheese (such as taleggio and gorgonzola)
  • breadsticks
  • white and red chicory leaves


  • STEP 1

    First, make the focaccia the day before you want to serve. Whisk the yeast and sugar with 400ml warm water in a jug. Set aside for 5-10 mins until bubbly and frothy. Meanwhile, combine the flour, 2 tsp fine sea salt and 2 tbsp of the oil in a large bowl, then pour in the yeast mixture. Stir to combine – the dough will be wet and sticky. Cover and chill for 12-18 hrs.

  • STEP 2

    About 4 hrs before baking, remove the bowl from the fridge. Line a deep 20 x 30cm tin with baking parchment and generously drizzle with oil. Tip the dough into the tin and gently ease into the corners using lightly oiled hands. Don’t worry if it doesn’t stretch much – as it comes to room temperature, it will expand. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 3-4 hrs until bubbly and risen. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Pour the remaining 1 tbsp oil over the dough and press your fingers into it all over to make dimples. Scatter over ½ tsp sea salt flakes and the mixed dried herbs, then bake for 20-25 mins until golden and risen. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool until just warm. Cut into squares.

  • STEP 3

    For the marinated mozzarella pearls, whisk the olive oil and pesto together in a bowl until emulsified. Gently stir in the mozzarella pearls, chilli flakes and basil, and season well with a large pinch each of sea salt and black pepper. Chill until needed, and remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving.

  • STEP 4

    For the fried artichoke hearts, pat the artichoke hearts dry using kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 150C, ensuring the pan is no more than two-thirds full. If you don’t have a temperature probe, drop in a cube of bread – it should brown within 50 seconds. Deep-fry the artichoke hearts in batches for 8-10 mins per batch until dark brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain, and sprinkle with sea salt.

  • STEP 5

    To assemble the board, tip the mozzarella pearls, fried artichoke hearts, olives and tomatoes into small serving bowls and arrange on a large serving board. Arrange cured meats, cheese, breadsticks and chicory leaves around the bowls, along with the focaccia squares. Serve the lemon wedges with the artichoke hearts for squeezing over.

Goes well with


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